Inspiration for new recipes comes from many places: old books, restaurants and often from just seeing an image. Such is the case in today’s recipe. To be honest I’m not even sure when or where I saw this particular image, but it has been in my mind for some time.
We roast butternut squash all the time, often in the form of small cubes. So why not make ribbons out of the raw squash and roast the ribbons? I could see the argument the moment I picked up the squash to make the ribbon. It’s not so easy to make ribbons out of big, heavy, shapely gourd. However, if you cut the squash into manageable size pieces you will find the ribbons are quite easy to make.
The result is a wonderful mix of tender roasted squash with charred crunchy edges. The spinach, cheese and lemon give the dish structure. This is one of those recipes that is just simple but really tasty and satisfying. I actually ate my plate standing at the counter. Never even made it to the table.
Try roasting some squash ribbons for a fun, stand up kind of recipe. I think you are going to like this one.
Roasted Butternut Squash Ribbon Salad with Spinach
- 1/4 of a medium sized butternut squash + some seeds
- Olive oil
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
- Parmesan cheese
Turn on the oven broiler. While that heats up, make the squash ribbons and toss on a baking sheet (see tips and techniques below). Add a few of the squash seeds to the edges of the pan as well. Spray or drizzle the squash with olive oil, add salt and pepper and toss well. Place under the broiler and keep an eye on the pan. You will need to rearrange the squash as some parts begin to cook faster. Using a pair of tongs, toss around. For a few small ribbons I took them out of the pan early while the rest continued to cook. In all this should take less than 10 minutes.
Divide the squash and seeds between two plates, add a cup of spinach to each plate along with a few peels of cheese.
Top with a good squeeze of lemon across each plate, a little extra drizzle of olive oil and additional salt and pepper if needed.
Enjoy immediately while still warm.
Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: To make the squash ribbons, cut the gourd in half lengthwise, and then in half again making long quarter. Use your carrot peeler to peel long ribbons. If you have a mandolin you can use that.